The river is flowing…

by Paulo 6 years ago 2 comments

Silver River Swim

550 million gallons of crystal-clear water flow from Silver Springs in Florida. ( one of the largest artesian spring formations in the world)
Getting the family together was not easy, but after  a bit of arduous planning, we managed to get the party together for a river trip to Ocala, home of the Silver River State Park. We knew little about the beauty and fine preservation of this park which is only a few hours from Miami. We paddled upstream until reaching the main spring where you can actually drink  cold fresh water with your hands.

Floating in the river is all about watching and listening to the extraordinary wildlife. We were lucky to see monkeys, birds, alligators, turtles and huge fish in several occasions. It’s wonderful to see there are still well preserved corners in our planet. It reminds you that not so long ago,  hundreds of rivers like this one existed in Florida, while today only a few remain free from the effects of pesticides and fertilizers used by modern agriculture.

Lets do our part to keep our water sources clean. The river is flowing…but for how long?

Silver Springs State Park

Check out more pictures here

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2 Responses to “The river is flowing…”

  • felipe says:

    Hola hijos : Bellas fotos y por lo que veo lindo
    paseo en la Florida.Espero regresen bien a Miami.
    Estamos hablando esta semana.Felipe.

  • Kate Benson says:

    Where were we! I need to go do a photoshoot here! This looks amazing! JEALOUS! Going to dig out the old underwater point and shoot. Maybe a little camping trip is in order? Hm…. think about it! Let’s do it labor day or something!!

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When you can’t just simply forget

by Paula 6 years ago 4 comments

Life is mysterious and confusing. We can make all sorts of plans yet the only guarantee is that there’s a bigger plan, one more complex than we could ever understand that pretty much just laughs every time we strategize.

Our plans, those of these two travelers that had decided to come back home, have been thrown a few curve-balls over the last few weeks. What seemed to be the beginning of a new life inside of us, our baby, decided this was not the right time to come into the world. We grieved on our own, we grieved with family and friends, and now we decided it was time to let those who follow us through this blog also know. After all, this is how we gave out the big news and now it’s also how we try to get some closure.

I truly believe that there are some souls who are simply too good for this world. While those of us living and growing on this earth are here to learn important lessons and be tested on them, there are others who are simply so perfect that they don’t need this schoolroom we call mortality. Our little angel is one of these, and we feel honored to be his parents.

When you can’t just simply forget, you will always be remembered…

“For five months we expected you
Four moons less of our chance to meet you.
And even though we wanted the entire world to give you,
God chose your soul to go high and above.
We move on knowing that a little angel is watching over us.” – PU

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4 Responses to “When you can’t just simply forget”

  • Angela says:

    Si es un angelito que decidio quedarse en el cielo…. los quiero

  • felipe says:

    Hola mi amor: Solo hasta hoy y por tus noticias de te-
    ner actualizada la página “One year abroad” leí con
    mucha emoción y tristeza las lindas palabras que no
    son nada fáciles de escribir. Estoy orgulloso de tener
    una hija con ese grado de madurez para sentarse a escribir eso tan bello y tan puesto en su sitio.
    Yo los acompaño por siempre. En este mismo momento mis lagrimas me acompañan Un beso y un abrazo a mis queridos hijos Los quiero mucho.
    Felipe-

  • Danielle Barcilon says:

    Hi Paulo, We met at Rabinovici ages ago before your big trip. I so enjoyed reading your and your wife’s adventures in distant lands. Quite inspiring. I’m thinking of doing my own round the world trip and would love to pick your brains, see what advice you both have and tips. Can we get together for a coffee sometime soon? You can contact me at barcilon@bellsouth.net. Thanks so much. Danielle

  • Daniel says:

    Me entero tarde, amigos… la noticia me hace tomar aire profundo y enviarles un abrazo silencioso y cálido.
    D.

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Home is not where but WHEN…

by Paulo 6 years ago 2 comments

Returning to the place we call home is not easy. Friends ask if we are happy to be home and how it feels to be back in the real world. It certainly makes you start questioning what the “real world” is. After all, traveling in remote areas of the world can be more real than our comfortable apartment in Miami.

Perhaps home is not a place but a moment. It occurs when you feel peace with yourself and you are able to appreciate the beauty of small things. It can be present anywhere you go.

Home is not where but WHEN.

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2 Responses to “Home is not where but WHEN…”

  • Francesca says:

    Beautifully stated and I feel that this came at the perfect moment (are you mind readers!) I just wrote down the last paragraph of your post –SO true! Sending a big hug, xxx Fran

  • miriam fisshaye says:

    When I saw the titel “Home is not where but WHEN ” I feel concerned becouse I live in Frankfurt City for about 7 years but dont really feel at home. I want the feeling beeing at home to come back and at the same time meet new people and augment my english knowledge. The picture that shows the beach impress me and feel invite to spend some time relaxing without any continuous disturbance. I have the feeling I find a strong motivation, get self-confidence through the landscape and the beach out there.
    I hope I get mail becouse I really want to have this experience. I finished my school in june 2012 from know on I am availble.

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It’s not Africa, it’s Champeta town!

by Paulo 7 years ago 4 comments

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World renowned Colombia was the first and last stop of this year abroad experience. We are closing the loop by re-visiting our home country after spending 10 months in Asia, for a fresh look at our glorious places and people.

Yesterday I visited Tierrabomba with my dad, a small village in an island minutes away from Cartagena. Food sources in the island are scarce and you can actually see the face of poverty staring at you.  The local grocery store sells food in quantities you have never heard of, like ¼ lb. of rice or 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.  To complicate things more, there’s no drinkable water so locals have to carry plastic gallons with the precious liquid from a replenishing station far away from their homes.  Everything in Tierrabomba makes you feel in some African country; except for one thing: Champeta! Every weekend, a huge stereo system called “picó” fills every corner of town with this musical genre which became a cultural phenomenon. Despite their deep poverty, anybody that can stand in two legs dances to the sound of this music that evokes african and Caribbean rhythms.

After our dose of champeta and a couple of “aguilas” in our bellies, the trip ended with a rough ride on a small boat in the big waves back to Cartagena.

Many people ask me which was the best country visited in our trip. The best country in the world is the one that saw you play as a child! Unfortunately many times we fall short to explore our own backyard. No matter how far I travel, Colombia will always be the best country in the world to me.

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4 Responses to “It’s not Africa, it’s Champeta town!”

  • Gloria Gomez says:

    Paulis & Paulo, Gracias por habernos permitido viajar desde nuestros computadores con Ustedes todos estos meses como tambien por reafirmar que no hay nada mas maravilloso que el pais del cual somos cada uno de nosotros.

    Felicitaciones

  • Meli says:

    Buenisimo! Se me aguo el Ojo! Que ganas de oir la cancion que el niche bailaba!!!
    Linda Colombia!!!

  • natis says:

    Flaco, Excelente reflexion!!!! No podria estar mas de acuerdo contigo. Espero que le transmitan el mensaje al rencuajo! Un abrazo

  • felipe says:

    Hola Paulo: Acabo de llegar del aeropuerto de despedir
    a Paulis despues de estar unos muy felices diás aquí en Cali. Me alegró mucho verla tan bien y contenta.Está
    muy bella y felíz.Me alegro por ustedes y que todo siga
    como debe ser.Que alegria me dió verla.Que buena nota en tu escrito.Un abrazo ,Felipe.

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Craving for Tortilla Soup

by Paulo 7 years ago 2 comments

One of the hardest part of being on the road was to shop around for all meals in restaurants. Food wasn’t always great plus you get tired of exploring and asking the locals for good spots. Nothing like frying an egg at home for breakfast. That means, satisfying food cravings has been the sport we have been practicing lately.
With only a few exceptions, for the past 3 weeks I have been enjoying the wonders of home cooking, looking forward to keep this practice as much as possible in the future. Paula was craving for Mexican food since we were in the Philippines so today I embarked in the creation of Tortilla Soup, an impossible thing to find in the places we visited.

Tortilla Soup: (6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tb. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 corn cobs
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tb. cumin
  • ½ tb. chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red chilly
  • 3 skinless chicken breasts, halved and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican fresh cheese
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • corn tortilla chips
  • sliced avocados
  • Mexican sour cream
  • wedges of fresh lime

Prepare chicken stock by cooking the chicken breasts for 30 minutes in water with garlic-salt, onions and the vegetables of your choice. In a separate pot, cook the tomatoes in water for 15 minutes or until the skin starts falling apart. Remove the skins and place the tomatoes in the blender with garlic cloves, onion, chilly and fresh cilantro. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and mix at high speed until everything is finely pureed.

Cook the corn cobs under direct fire on the stove or using a grill until golden brown. Then separate the kernels with a knife.

In a large pot, heat a small amount of olive oil and add the mix from the blender. Add 3 cups of chicken stock, the corn kernels, bay leaves, chilly powder, cumin, salt and cook for 10-15 minutes.

To serve place a small amount of shredded chicken, tortilla chips and add 2 cups of soup. Finish with diced avocado, fresh cheese, Mexican sour cream, cilantro and a lime wedge.

Bon Appetit!

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2 Responses to “Craving for Tortilla Soup”

What? When? How?

by Paula 7 years ago 8 comments

It’s been officially ten months of travel, and we are back in Miami. What? You are probably asking – isn’t the blog called “one year abroad”? Well yes, and because we are back in the sunshine state doesn’t mean our travels have come to an end, but indeed a few things have changed that require an explanation. It turns out, that what started as a two passenger project, has now become a three person adventure. Surprise surprise; we have a little one cooking in the oven!

This certainly changes the whole dynamics. For starters I’m no longer taking home the award for best traveler (yes I know, no one gave it to me anyway!). I have now become the pickiest of eaters and unfortunately Asian food isn’t ranking very high on my current favorites. I’m also tired often, and sightseeing well… I’d rather do anything else! But most importantly natural instincts are probably kicking in and I greatly desire to have our own space and nest.

For Flaco the transition hasn’t been as smooth, his mind knows a big change is coming along, but he’s not technically pregnant so his body isn’t telling much on that end! He literally wanted to spend another month in South Korea learning some Korean and eating kimchi 24/7.

But truth is we are happy to be back, at least temporarily which seems to be what’s going on here. Now you ask: what’s next? Well, we really don’t know at the moment. For now we will enjoy a few weeks here with friends and family (who by the way have gone above and beyond in giving us an amazing welcome experience – we can’t thank you enough), and figure out our plan for the next couple of months as we go along. We will as always keep you posted.

Until then, we now sign off, no longer as just P&P, but PP& a half.

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8 Responses to “What? When? How?”

  • SandraB says:

    wow que mapa!! Feliciatciones chicos!! otra aventura!! y otro nombre!! sera Paulina??

  • felipe says:

    Hola hijos: La satisfacción del deber cumplido.Eso que
    les quedó en sus mentes nunca lo olvidarán incluído
    el renacuajo.Que dicha que ya están en tierra firme
    Occidental.Les mando un abrazo de bienvenida.Felipe.

  • Vonni says:

    Queridos Paula y Pablo: Acabo de leer esta página introductoria del blog, y no puedo dejar pasar un minuto más sin decirles FELICITACIONES!!! por el gran coraje de hacer realidad ese sueño de muchos: viajar y conocer el mundo! Y también mis FELICITACIONES por el nuevo integrante de la familia. Paula, cuando te ví en el parqueo de nuestro edificio hace 2 días estuve a punto de preguntarte si estabas embarazada, pues pude verlo en tu rostro, en tu expresión: irradias mucha dulzura y gran ternura!
    Volviendo a lo del viaje, imagino el gran signo de interrogación que tendrán ahora dentro de Uds., algo así como: Y ahora,… qué sigue? Como les comenté a mi también me gusta viajar, y luego de estar tres semanas en la India, mi cerebro me atacó a preguntas, sobre todo de la vida, de mi vida. Y mi deseo de conocer este gran vecindario llamado mundo se acrecentó aún más. Por eso les pido nuevamente, por favor, reunámonos un día para que me compartan su experiencia. Un abrazo, Vonni

  • Paulo says:

    Gracias por los comentarios Vonni. Por ahora estamos en un periodo de ajuste pues este tipo de viaje cambia la forma como vez las cosas, esperamos que sea para bien, ya el tiempo lo dira. Por ahora estamos disfrutando de unos dias en familia y haciendo planes pues pronto llegara un nuevo integrante a la familia.
    Cuando andemos devuelta en el apto te contaremos mas detalles del viaje.

  • Verinn says:

    Yay! Me da un poco de :( no poder seguir leyendo acerca de sus travesias, pero me da muchisima felicidad esta nueva etapa!!! Que emocion!!! P P& Baby :)
    Les mando un abrazo gigante.

  • Maria says:

    Lady P!!! Veo que el viaje terminó con una gran sorpresa! No sabes lo feliz que estoy por ti, les deseo todo todo lo mejor y espero poder verte pronto. Un gran blog, grandes tips y sobretodo una gran inspiración para cumplir todos esos deseos que dejamos para después. Te quiero mucho y estoy muy emocionada por ustedes y por la nueva etapa que empiezan a vivir!

  • Audrey says:

    What exciting news and what a wonderful way to end your travels!! Congratulations to you both. I will be in Miami from May 8 – 13 for a conference at the Trump International. It would be lovely to see you both if you are in town.

  • Naty Pilo says:

    Pau! Que buen final para ese viaje tan espectacular! Les deseo lo mejor del mundo a los dos y muchisisisisisisimas felicitaciones por el “renacuajo” como alguien escribio por ahi…. Disfruten al maximo esta nueva etapa. Saludes!!

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Designing Seoul our style

by Paula 7 years ago 1 comment

It’s been one full week since we arrived in freezing Seoul, and even though we’ve barely had an average temperature of zero degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit – yeah I’m a chicken for this kind of weather) and just a couple pieces of winter clothes in our backpacks, we’ve had an amazing time!

Arriving in South Korea after months of traveling in South East Asia was a breath of fresh air. The country has a lot to offer and even if English is hardly ever spoken, its systems are efficient, and with a little bit of exploration you can discover amazing little hideouts. Seoul has an overpopulation of coffee/waffle shops, wine bars and local designer stores - LOVE it!

Seoul’s officials have spent the last four years making sure the city was recognized worldwide for it’s design and urban development and trust me, the results are noticeable! It was declared World Design Capital (2010) for “realizing the full potential of design to improve the city’s social, cultural and economic quality of life”. You can read further about this topic through this great article: The Seoul of Design.

Since we decided to concentrate our time in South Korea to just Seoul, we were fortunate enough to have ample time to design our own itineraries, taking it slow and moving along as we felt like it. Our highlights so far:

  • Kimchi- no matter where you eat; low or high budget, even western style food you will get a small bowl with some type of Kimchi!
  • Leeum Samsung Museum of Art - kudos for the audio guide; it’s wireless enabled, no need to press any buttons and has audio information for every single piece of art in the museum.
  • Tea shops inside traditional Korean style homes
  • Public baths open 24-hours
  • The lovely walk around Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Fresh fish and delicious blue crab soup at the Noryangjin Fish Market
  • The friendliness of Koreans
  • Korean temple cuisine at Sanchon (don’t miss this)
  • QR Codes all over the place

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One Response to “Designing Seoul our style”

  • felipe says:

    Bueno ya lo último de este interesante viaje.Que mara
    villa y que enriquecedor para ustedes. De verdad me
    enorgullece esta decisión en su vida.Nunca jamás la
    olvidarán.Un abrazo de quien los quiere,Felipe.

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8,000,000+ subway trips daily

by Paulo 7 years ago 1 comment

seoul subway map

Today was our first day exploring Seoul; loving it so far. It took us 24 hours of travel time including boat rides and flights from the islands in Philippines.
Internet is blazing fast here  :)

More from the land of Samsung soon…

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One Response to “8,000,000+ subway trips daily”

Bantayan: Another shade of Blue

by Paulo 7 years ago 2 comments

Taking it easy, daily activities include:

  • Morning Swim
  • Breakfast
  • Nap
  • Reading Session
  • Lunch
  • Chill at the beach
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Board game session
  • Dinner
  • Drinks
  • Movie
  • Bedtime

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2 Responses to “Bantayan: Another shade of Blue”

  • Meli says:

    Lo que mas me gusta: Nap after breakfast! que stress!!
    xoxo

  • felipe says:

    Hola hijos: Que bella foto.Se ve que el sitio es expectacular.Me fué bien en Bogotá pero me cogió una
    gripa tremenda y sólo hasta hoy salgo a la luz pública.
    Esta mañana salí a caminar y poder sudar un poco.
    Me alegran las buenas noticias. Un beso y un abrazo F.U.G

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Why travel long term?

by Paulo 7 years ago 6 comments

Nine months ago we decided to pack our stuff in boxes, rent our apartment and leave everything behind to embark in this crazy thing called a one year trip.  Although we were both very excited, some degree of fear transpired since neither of us had ever planned such a venture. As with any big project, flexibility and open mindedness are key factors to staying afloat and enjoying the ride with all its ups and downs. Here are a few reflections as to why travel long term:

  1. To observe your life from a distance
  2. To be a traveler and not a tourist
  3. To exercise detachment
  4. To make the most of your stay in this world
  5. To grow your hidden potentials
  6. To live your “aloneness”
  7. To learn from other cultures
  8. To spend time with a person you need to know better: yourself
  9. To be more conscious of your body
  10. To live!

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6 Responses to “Why travel long term?”